Tonight I’m truly sad to report that a nearby block of some of my favorite stores in the city were destroyed in a fire today. Back in November I posted about two of the stores, Patina and Shoppe Local, where I took my sister and brother-in-law during my birthday weekend. As a former employee of Patina and an avid fan of both shops, I’m really saddened for all the employees and owners affected.
Equally sad, two very respected restaurants were destroyed in the fire as well. Heidi’s, where the flames originated as a grease fire, suffered an ironic twist of fate as Chef Stewart Woodman was named a semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation’s Award this morning, just a few hours before the restaurant burned to the ground.
I first heard of the fire via a local news station on Twitter and watched on a live video stream as the buildings were engulfed in flames. The strip of stores are only a few blocks from my house — one of my favorite aspects of this neighborhood — so I tried to drive by tonight on my way home from work but couldn’t get nearby to see anything but black buildings.
Luckily, only two firefighters suffered minor injuries and everyone got out of the businesses safely. My friend Natalie Lucas sells her beautiful jewelry at Shoppe Local so I hope to hear tomorrow that her merchandise wasn’t totally destroyed.
My thoughts are with all of the employees and owners affected by the fire — such a sad loss for those owners who put their heart and soul into building these businesses and for the local community.
Images are from favorite local food blog, Heavy Table.